With a maximum payload of 1,422 pounds and an available 5.3L V-8 that enables a towing capacity of 6,000 pounds, the midsize 2011 GMC Canyon delivers big-time capability.
The 2011 Canyon lineup includes regular cab, extended cab and crew cab body styles; two pickup bed lengths; three available suspensions and three engines. Vehicles are offered in Work Truck, SLE and SLT trims. The popular Z71 Off Road package offers distinctive visual cues to augment its suspension differentiation; it is available on 2WD and 4WD models. The ZQ8 sport suspension, paired with the 5.3L V-8 and 18-inch wheels, is also available.
Changes for 2011 include OnStar 9.0, with a six-month Directions and Connections plan; Bluetooth phone connectivity; a revised front headrest design and a new exterior color choice: Aqua Blue Metallic. A chrome package is also available and includes a chrome fuel door and exhaust tip.
A trio of suspension choices is available: the rugged Z85 suspension standard on 2WD or 4WD models, the Z71 off-road suspension, also available in 2WD and 4WD and the ZQ8 sport suspension.
The base engine in all but Z71-equipped crew cabs is a powerful 2.9L four-cylinder that delivers 185 horsepower and 190 lb.-ft. of torque. Available in all models — and standard in the crew cab with 4WD — is a 3.7L five-cylinder with VVT that is rated at 242 horsepower and 242 lb.-ft. of torque.
The 5.3L V-8 is also available. Horsepower is rated at 300 and torque is 320 lb.-ft. Transferring the Canyon engines’ torque to the axles is an Aisin five-speed manual transmission or a Hydra-Matic 4L60 electronically controlled four-speed automatic.
Base model estimated mpg: 18/25
Estimated starting price: $17,000
Compiled by Motor Matters

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